I can so relate to the mom in this article on MSNBC, down to the homeschooling at home and the marathon errand day. My usual Tuesday can include leading a breastfeeding meeting, stopping at a park to picnic for lunch to keep tantrums and crying to a minimum, to a local spring to collect 10 or more gallons of drinking water, to a quick stop at a random store (usually the book store or craft store for school supplies,) to our food co-op to work sorting produce and pick up our groceries, to Trader Joe’s to pick up other odds and ends before hitting rush hour traffic to get back home to tote everyone and everything up the stairs and make dinner.
Every so often, I do contemplate returning to the work force in order to help make the ends meet, but I quickly realize that: 1. I want to be the one raising our kids, 2. I LOVE the work of being a mom and can’t imagine any other job I’d rather be doing, 3. I wouldn’t make enough to cover the financial costs of childcare. I looked into this a bit a few years ago and kept the daycare price sheet as a reminder (from Primrose School, prices effective 12/2005 per 5-day WEEK, which do not include registration fees, supply fees, or activity fees):
Infant (6 wks. – 12 mo.) $230
Young Toddler (12-24 mo.) $210
Early Preschooler (24-36 mo.) $190
Preschool (3 year-olds) $175
Pre-Kindergarten (4 year-olds) $145
Kindergarten (5 year-olds) $145
Before & After Elementary Care $85
So for my three kids, we would pay $375 per week! No doubt these rates have increased since 2005 either, so that’s a low estimate for my crew. That doesn’t even begin to cover the the other costs: gas, clothing, enrolling Alex in public school, the extra doctor bills since they’d catch everything going around, the reduced family time, etc.